Columbia College-Fort Worth’s Monique Franklin Pierce starts each day with a single goal in mind. She wants to finish each day, as she puts it, “empty.”
“My youth pastor shared a message about finishing each day ‘empty,’ and that’s been my goal in life,” Franklin Pierce says. “I try to give each day, opportunity and person I encounter my all.”
Franklin Pierce has done just that. She has been an administrative assistant at Columbia College-Fort Worth for two years, and she was recently honored for her hard work with the first Columbia College 2015 Staff Association Advisory Council (SAAC) Servant Leadership Award.
But Franklin Pierce’s dedication to serving others goes far beyond Columbia College and her job responsibilities. She is an active volunteer for her church in the Fort Worth area.
“She is constantly empowering young females with leadership skills, teaching them to help others, not just through words but by example,” said Dr. Brenda Cole, associate director at Columbia College-Fort Worth in her nomination letter of Franklin Pierce for the award.
Yet this donation of time and talents isn’t the only selfless gift Franklin Pierce has given. When her stepfather Charles hadn’t been matched with the kidney he needed after a year of being on the waiting list, Franklin Pierce stepped in. She was tested, and she was a perfect match to make the donation. On May 13, 2014, Franklin Pierce and her stepfather went into surgery, and the successful transplant was completed.
“The exact moment my kidney was attached to my stepdad’s ureter tubes, it immediately started to produce urine, something his body hadn’t done on its own for quite some time,” Franklin Pierce says. “The surgeons said that is very rare. Usually it takes time for an organ to work after a transplant. This caused everyone in the surgery to clap over the instant success.”
The amazing series of events and answered prayers offered a newfound perspective to Franklin Pierce, who says her life with one kidney is healthier than it ever was with two thanks to focusing on a healthy diet and exercise.
“Watching my stepdad almost die waiting on his transplant that, at times, I feared would never happen put things into perspective,” Franklin Pierce says. “Life is incredibly short. There are so many people who need help and, while I can’t individually help them all, I must do what I can.”
Franklin Pierce’s attitude truly embodies the attributes the Servant Leadership Award represents. It is given to staff members who focus on the well-being, development and empowerment of others by their involvement in community service activities. The winners of the staff achievement awards receive a personalized trophy, a monetary award and their name on a plaque in St. Clair Hall.
“Staff members need to be recognized for their contributions to the College and their local communities,” SAAC Chair Cheryl Harris says. “SAAC is happy to be involved in this process.”